Decision: LSE MSc Applicable Maths vs Birmingham MRes Pure Mathematics Watch

Hicokuma
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Hi folks!

So I’ve got a conditional offer from MSc Applicable Mathematics at LSE and have talk to a potential supervisor over the MRes Mathematics program at Uni of Birmingham.
I’m wondering if anyone can give me some advice? My personal experience is quite limited for making a choice, which I wouldn’t say decides my whole life but is still crucial for my future.

Birmingham pros:
- I want to do research in the future so research experience would be valuable.
- Four of my current lecturers are in the group of this field I want to study. They are all very approachable and nice. Generally speaking, this group is also relatively large and young.
- This program can possibly counter as the first year of a fast track PhD degree here.
- Compared to the hustle in big city, this uni is at a relatively quiet place (which means life can be kind of monotone at the same time).
Birmingham cons:
- As far as I know, there would be only three taught modules, one of which is in my field of interest.
- though I have quite a passion for the field I want to research into, I still feel insecure since it might be harder to find a job with a research degree, if I cannot secure research funding in the future. (My perspective can be quite partial. Please feel free to correct me if you think it is far from the truth.)

LSE pros:
- Study more new subjects, half of which are in my field of interest.
- I plan to move to some Asian country in one or two years. I was told quite a few times that a degree with LSE would be favourable for finding an international job.
- LSE seems to have a more comprehensive system and everything is pretty well-organised.
- As an international student, I realised that new cultures in a new society actually very attractive to me.
LSE cons:
- Reading through the material I can find, half of the contents of two modules in my field appear to be what I have learned in my undergraduate study.
- So far I have not yet found a passion for economics/finance-related (Mathematics) area, which would account for two modules in this program. (However I have a keen interest in reversi, whereas a professor here is a pro in this game. Okay, I guess this is not as important.)

Any advice will be really appreciated. And to whoever read this post, I hope you all the best with your choice. And hope this could be of some help to those who are also making their decision.

Best,
Hicokuma
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LuigiMario
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when I read your headline, I immediately thought MSc at LSE

you are doing the correct nuanced thing, checking who and what you will be taught

there are quite a few jobs available to those with a Masters in maths, obviously teaching - massive demand everywhere from Secondary schools upwards,
also internet applied maths, unbreakable cryptography, breakable cryptography, ubiquitous blockchain and other ledgers of record, AI/ML (artificial intelligence machine learning algorithms ( = maths)), music e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhuMLpdnOjY (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-03922-x) oh, and this musician was a mathematician at his national security agency for a while

banks of course, emerging FINTECH especially, but you probably already understand the maths research world better than many, I had several friends with doctorates in math when I worked at CERN, the physicists didn't like the math theorists very much, as some could produce a new theory - working to confirm or refute the standard model, very regularly - whilst the accelerator specialists were busy building experiments to test the theories that were formulated many decades ago, new theories not that welcome!

get a good degree, you would easily get a job!
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Hicokuma
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Thank you Luigi for your reply! Very interesting to know all these job opportunities, especially the music one. It is quite surprising and new for me to know that new theories can be not that welcome haha. I’m still hesitating because the project my Birmingham supervisor has talked to me about sounds attractive (which was the extension of a new branch of this area), while opportunities in LSE are said to be pretty related to industrial (especially financial) areas, which I’m not sure that I can find interest in.
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